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Poor Lil’ Polar Bears

Jul 31, 2020
Today the Bush administrationofficially designatedpolar bears "threatened with extinction." The decision marks the first time that the Endangered Species Act has been used to protect a species from climate change. Right now, polar bears aren’t "endangered" according to the traditional sense of the law, with the arctic bear’s population hovering between 20,000 and 25,000 globally. But, their habitat is literally melting. Arctic sea ice is disappearing as the region warms more rapidly than anywhere else in the world.
While the Bush administration says the polar bear must be protected due to the threat of global warming, it simultaneously says that this protection won’t influence global warming or energy policy. Department of Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne saidthe ESA was "never meant to regulate global climate change." Therefore, he said it would be "inappropriate" to use the protection of the polar bear to reduce greenhouse gases.
But isn’t the point of putting polar bears on the endangered species list to reduce human threat to their existence? Does it really make sense to say, we need to protect this animal from global warming, but we’re not doing anything about global warming itself?
That’s what the Sierra Club wants to know.
The group is especially vexed by the Bush administration’s move toward drilling in polar bears’ habitat. "Allowing destructive energy development in polar bear habitat is akin to diagnosing someone with lung cancer and then handing them a lit cigarette," Pope said.
Some in Congress expressed similar concerns about drilling. From a press release by Sen. John Kerry’s office:
The original deadline for polar bear listing was January 9, 2008. The delay in listing has allowed the Administration to move forward with oil and gas lease sales in over 30 million acres of prime polar bear habitat in Alaska’s Chukchi Sea, without any consideration of the impact of drilling on the resident polar bear population.
Camilo Wood

Camilo Wood

Camilo Wood has over two decades of experience as a writer and journalist, specializing in finance and economics. With a degree in Economics and a background in financial research and analysis, Camilo brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to his writing. Throughout his career, Camilo has contributed to numerous publications, covering a wide range of topics such as global economic trends, investment strategies, and market analysis. His articles are recognized for their insightful analysis and clear explanations, making complex financial concepts accessible to readers. Camilo's experience includes working in roles related to financial reporting, analysis, and commentary, allowing him to provide readers with accurate and trustworthy information. His dedication to journalistic integrity and commitment to delivering high-quality content make him a trusted voice in the fields of finance and journalism.
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